MEET: Kate

MEET: Kate - Clash Tee

Instagram: @thekeybykate

Meet the INCREDIBLE AND GORGEOUS blogger Kate, she shares on Instagram her outfits, journey, and much more than pictures... Sometimes real talk is what social media needs.


Looking back, where did it all begin?

It started as “The Key by Kate L” on poshmark as a resale shop. I had chronic illness issues and straight out of college started spending time in and out of hospitals, later diagnosed with endometriosis and digestive issues/cyclical vomiting. I was seeking community and wanted to put my college degree in fashion + business to good use. It became nearly comical how much quicker the instagram page for the poshmark page took off, because it blew the pants off my poshmark store itself in terms of popularity. At some point, I was clever enough to drop the “L” from my name to become “The Key by Kate” officially. I kept going doing both reselling and instagram, but I lost the passion for selling clothing over time.

So I switched gears after I realized the why: I enjoyed Instagram and that community. I loved photography and fashion. My views aligned more with content creation than reselling clothing at that point, so I made a conscious choice to change my path -- this was just Fall of 2019 too! Not too long ago.

 Kate - Radiance Tee

Please take us through your content creation process.

Gosh I feel mine is messy compared to most. I have notepads and lists everywhere around the apartment and on devices. I like to write ideas down when they come in so they feel more organic than forcing a shoot that probably just wasn’t meant to be for me.

Although I will sometimes use a tripod, most content is shot by my husband. Usually he acts as my stand-in while I find my ideal framing, then he switches places to take the shots I’m looking for. I dive into editing with Lightroom and PicsArt -- these two apps really stepped up my photo game significantly. I don’t shoot as far in advance as other bloggers either I’ve noticed, mainly because I feel most connected to the work right after we’ve shot and I’ve edited.

 Kate - the key by kate

If not blogging, you would be?

I think I’d be exploring something creative still -- probably painting and photography. I used to connect with art on a daily basis, to help escape feeling trapped at home when I was sick. It was incredibly freeing. Having developed a passion for the photography process over the past few years, I think delving into that more fully would feel fulfilling!


A day in your life….

Always starting with a bottle of coke. Not coffee. I wish I were a coffee person, but alas.

I usually work in the mornings while cuddling dogs and watching background reruns of old shows I still love. Work looks like planning shoots, responding to emails, comments, and DMs, editing photos, writing content, and sometimes shooting— if I’m filming at home.

When my husband gets home from work, we like to usually play catch up about our days and listen to music. Walks together usually occur soon after because our dogs are tiny balls of energy! I know it’s cliche but there is nobody I’d rather spend time with, so any day with him I’m usually extra happy. We may run errands and grab dinner.  

I’ll do some more work, and so will he. Then we have our nightly tv time where we catch up on our shows. Most days are at home now, but I used to be way into the hustle culture. I have since adopted a more relaxed approach to my day-to-day. It’s been a good change!

 Kate - the key by kate

Photos: Instagram

Who would you love to collab with?

Is this like, dream world? @delaneychilds is my fashion kindred spirit and I would love to do a collab sharing our different body types rocking the same trends. I’m not sure where people got the impression that curvy women only want wrap dresses in their lives. Give me a good graphic tee, a sassy mini skirt, and some combat boots. Call me set for life!


I read an Ashley Graham interview and in her opinion, the label “plus-sized” shouldn’t even exist. For her and I totally agree: “the fashion industry would be size blind and have no labels at all; girls of all shapes would be represented on the catwalks, from skinny to curvy and “in-betweeny”. What is your opinion about it?

“Plus-sized” has become one of those labels that has gained enough negative connotation from major labels and from our society. I think an overhaul is in order for sure. Having studied sizing distributions for Apparel Merchandising at Auburn University, I remember distinctly finding little reason for the sizing availability not to expand, but so many reasons for the world to accept that the human body isn’t the same as it was when these sizing charts were first developed. Most curvy girls I know aren’t annoyed at being plus sized. Most curvy girls I know are annoyed that brands don’t bother going plus or that society still stigmatizes anyone above an arbitrary size. So yeah, I think leaving the term plus sized with the past and revamping the whole system is the best chance for an equal playing field.


Internet sometimes can be mean; how do you deal with it?

I think it's finding your personal boundaries for what you let affect you, but also how you follow up. I receive plenty of odd comments here and there that don’t deserve any further attention; my skin has toughened to most things. My biggest concern lies in the comments that someone else may read and feel hurt from reading. At that point, personally I will step in to respond for those who need to feel protected. I want my space to be open for productive and constructive feedback, but trolling tends to hurt more than just the influencer — it’s anyone who identifies with the criticism scrolling through that feels hurt too. Some people don’t want the difficult convo brought to attention because it’s “hard” but I’d rather have the hard conversations, make people uncomfortable, and ask for change.


This year has been heavy. How have you managed to still find joy?

That’s a good way to put it — “find[ing] joy” you know? Because I think that’s the name of the game this year. Joy doesn’t fall into my lap easily right now. I spent some months of the pandemic waiting for it to just get easier until realizing right now it might take me actively finding the joy instead. The little things matter more. Movie nights with my husband, walks with my dogs, dressing up for a photoshoot in a cool spot, connecting with friends online — all where I find my joy!


My favorite type of tee is…

hands down oversized tee! I love to layer, so it’s fun to wear it over other items due to the looser fit. My AC/DC black graphic clash tee is my current go-to.


Anything else you’d like to share with girls reading us?

I want to share that my page seeks to empower and normalize girls, like me.

We weren’t made to be everyone’s tastes. We weren’t made to be the same. We were made to find ourselves and turn our own passions up to a 10 on the scale.

Don’t ever feel you have to water yourself down!


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